January

Things that are happening this year:

I’m on a super wonky diet because Oliver has been diagnosed with a plethora of food sensitivities. This first month is the most restrictive (I’ll spare you the gory details), but for 6+ months I will be dairy, soy, chicken, zucchini, apple, sweet potato, scallion, sorgum and brewers yeast-free. Also gluten free for the duration of our time breastfeeding, and Oliver will likely be GF his whole life. We haven’t started solids with him yet, but considering the mess his gut is in already, we’ll probably be delaying beyond 6 months old.

We’ve started assembling a home gym. This has actually been in the works for a while, but January brings out all the good sales for New Year’s Resolution-ers. So, so, SO excited to get my lift on again!

Other assorted non-resolution goals. Brandon got me a sweet gift pack of classes at our local yoga studio, plus I’ve committed myself to 100 practices in 2015. (I’m being realistic though, even a 10 minute practice before bed is great.) Also I’m attempting to do pushups every day. They’re great for upper body and core strength, which are both sorely lacking since being pregnant. Finally I’m still working on a reading list for the year, spending less time on my computer, getting Nora potty trained (heh, we’ll see), and some spending less/saving more financial goals.

I’m sure this all sounds very humdrum but I’m super stoked to get things started on a positive note. Self improvement is kind of a big deal for me, and now that our little family feels complete, it’s time to invest back in myself!

fam121414

Fresh

I really don’t do resolutions for the New Year.

It seems a little arbitrary, and I make plenty of commitments to myself to do things better or differently the whole year through.

However.

This past year has been a doozy, and the one upcoming, mind-boggling. With all the memories and hopes swirling around, I’m feeling extra sentimental (blame the pregnancy, if you wish) and I figured a few goals might help keep my sanity with all the chaos. So here are a few fairly attainable goals for 2012:

1.) Floss every day. Like really every day, not every day for a couple of months, then every two or three days, then on Saturdays, then not for a month and then start the cycle over again. Also, pack some floss in my purse again.

2.) Go to the gym 100 days in 2012. That’s about twice a week on average. Considering the new baby factor, I’d say that’s fairly reasonable. I know I’ll be playing catch up a lot over the summer once we all start settling down into a rhythm, and I’m okay with that. Summer will be setting up for some other big maybe’s in the fall.

3.) Get back to pre-pregnancy weight before we start trying for another baby. This one is a must for me, and I am going to need a lot of reminders when I start trying to rush things along. The one thing I feel like I could have done differently this time around was be better physically prepared for the stresses that my body is going to go through. Next time, I will know better, and getting off on the right foot always makes a big difference.

(And yes, there has been a little bit of talk about another baby very soon, but it’s just an idea we’re throwing around. Obviously we have no idea what life with Nora will be like and I, for one, want to see how that goes first.)

(And no, this is not just because my sister is pregnant again so soon. I happen to believe she stole the idea from me, since she originally  said she’d be waiting a year. *wink wink, love ya, Tiff!*)

Anyway…

4.) Read a book a month, for fun. This is almost pathetic, but again, with the baby… who knows how it will go. I’ve gotten really bad about starting books and not finishing them, too, even when they’re really good. So hopefully this will kick-start something I really want to do anyway.

Finally 5.) Drink plenty of summer beers. I feel like I’ve been complaining this ENTIRE pregnancy about missing out on all the great seasonal brews (and wine, and everything else for that matter). But I absolutely love all the light, crisp summer beers, and I may never recover from the loss this past year. Yes I’m being melodramatic, and for the sake of full disclosure, I did manage to enjoy a couple pints of Bell’s Oberon while we were honeymooning, but that’s all. Tragic.

So that’s it. Mostly don’t forget to take care of myself, and enjoy myself a little. If I can do all that, and have a baby, I’ll be considering 2012 a wild success!

Happy New Year!

 

Stress

So with less than two weeks until the wedding, I’ve been really feeling the pressure to make everything go perfectly. I feel like when that inevitable thing goes wrong, it sure as hell better not be because I overlooked a critical detail. Only freak accidents and babies allowed.
I feel crazy. If I don’t write something down as soon as I think of it, it’s likely to be forgotten moments later. If I’m lucky it will come back so I can write it down then. Or Brandon (aka Life-Saver) will remind me.
The funniest thing is, though, yesterday he thanked me for being so organized. Which, I guess, I really am. I made myself a ‘master’ to-do list, and then used post-its to do daily lists and keep myself focused and a tiny bit less overwhelmed. And best of all, for the most part I’ve been getting each list done every day, so even though there’s a new list of things to do in the morning, I can still feel accomplished. If only for a few moments.
My diet is struggling at best, though. And my sleep is erratic and filled with dreams of my lists and random things that could go wrong. Like forgetting to shave. Speaking of forgetting: forget exercising. Although that might help me chill too. (Putting ‘go for a walk’ on my to-do list now.)
I think I need to make myself a schedule for the day of, with thing like “eat”, “drink water” & “pee” so I can hold it all together though the home stretch.
I’m not sure what else to do to make myself relax. I might go get a massage later this week. Regardless, it will all be over soon. In the best possible way.

brevity

Today: good for eating, bad for stress level. No gym. Uh-gain.
Work was exhausting, playing catch-up and all. And in my head, a mess is brewing. It’s not a huge problem, by any means, but it’s distracting. And a bit too personal to delve into on here, so in my head it will remain until I sort it out.

Being appropriate

Everyone else seems to be summing up their 2010 and making goals for next year, and for the record, I feel utterly uninspired to do the same.
Probably because I’ve spent most of the year already living in 2011. May, specifically.
Regardless, some really awesome things did happen this year. My sister got pregnant, my brother married, my step sister engaged. Three of my step siblings had babies. My sister also got a house, and a dog. My brother got a second dog. And even as I type, Brandon is hammering on the trim in our living room… the VERY LAST step in a remodel that has been dragged out over a very busy year.
For me personally, it seems to all be about the wedding. I did spend a lot of time hanging out with my friends and family too. I went to New York, Chicago, Detroit and took a motorcycle ride up to Traverse City. Oh yeah, and Brandon bought another motorcycle.
I didn’t really have any ‘resolutions’ last year, but I was pretty hardcore trying to lose weight to fit into my new wedding gown. I was around a size 18 when I bought it and the dress is a 10. I did manage to lose 25lbs last year from February to August, but after being completely burnt out, I gained almost 10 back over the past five months. Which is really disgusting to me, but it’s not that unrealistic in terms of what most people experience. I am going to focus on taking those 10 off again, and maybe another 5-10 more, but I refuse to get stressed or obsessed about it. I really just need to concentrate on time management.
And speaking of time management, I’ve been really struggling with how I’m going to manage getting to the gym, working with Brandon on puppy training, and wedding stuff into my life next year. It seems really overwhelming and daunting as a long term situation. I know five months isn’t really something I should be considering ‘long term’ but they’re pretty critical weeks, at least to me. Just twenty more weekends to juggle spending time with friends & family and getting all the lose ends tied up. Only five more without the puppy.
So yes, there will be changes and improvements I’ll be working on making over the upcoming year, but I’m still in denial that they qualify as New Years Resolutions. The time frame is irrelevant, and coincidental to the new year. I’ve put off trying to change my sleep schedule until after the holidays when all the time off throws me off even more. I have already been working on getting my eating habits back in check, but not all that worried about it with the all the festivities going on. I’m not going to make too many excuses for not going to the gym, other than being really tired, worn out, and even sick the past couple weeks. I probably won’t be headed to the gym until at least mid-January anyway, since hundreds more people seem to be there after January 1st. But I’ll get up and do my work outs at home regardless.
In case you couldn’t tell, I’m not really all that enthusiastic about a whole lot of stuff right this minute. I’m so ready for this wedding to be over. I’m tired of being baby crazy and feeling like there’s so much to do before we get on with our lives. At least I’m confident that the excitement will come back around and one way or another our lives will return to something resembling normal.
Until then, have a very happy new year!

On the road to skinny

(Still laughing to myself about the word ‘skinny’. Hardly)
I think it’s a given that if you’re physically active, you’re going to face injury of some sort on occasion.
When I first started hitting the gym again, it was muscle soreness. Perfectly acceptable, even expected
Then there was the first time I really tried to do too much and my shoulder started to feel like if I didn’t relax a little, it would rip right off. Ok, lesson learned.
After a while I think all my joints started aching, like why are you doing so much moving around? I pushed through it & started taking a supplement to ease things along. Definitely starting to get the hang of it.
My next great adventure was when I got this idea that I should start running. As a kid, I don’t think I ever ran more than 20 or 30 yards or so voluntarily. So of course, I get some directions (http://www.c25k.com/) and get on the treadmill. I’ve been doing plenty of cardio, so I’m not gasping for breath after a couple of minutes. But after a couple of days I get shinsplints. Yippee. And because I got shinsplints, I got new running shoes that fix my over-pronation & it’s been much better since.
You can imagine I’m feeling pretty beat up all over.
So now we’re up to about three weeks ago: I’m finally feeling good all over & thinking that I’m making progress. I just got a book with some new exercises in it & I’m going to give them a try. They have this crazy split squat where you prop your back foot up on a bench or step & dip down. Somehow I decided this wasn’t going to be challenging enough for me, so I grab a couple of 15lb dumbbells and do them weighted. It felt AWESOME. It was really hard to balance and push and hang on to the hand weights, but I did it.
The next day, I wished I hadn’t. Obviously the muscles in my legs were sore, but my knees felt like they really could use a fresh set of tendons.
Ok, no squats for a while. I eased back on my running too & started using the elliptical more. I know they say an elliptical is easier on your knees, but in my opinion, it’s a lot harder on your back, neck & shoulders. Bleh. Anyway, I kept working around my legs so as to not ‘blow up’ my knees, a term you only have to hear once to live in fear of. Then came last weekend, and we were way too busy to go to the gym. I convinced myself that rest days would be just the thing my knees needed to finish healing up.
Except they didn’t. On Sunday, they were just aching, and after Brandon left for his business trip, the last thing I could imagine doing was going to the gym, hurting myself & having no one to call. (Well not, no one, but that’s how awesome I felt.) So I called up a specialist & made an appointment for Wednesday (aka, yesterday).
I was a mess. After all that work, all those aches & pains, and getting up early, and coming home exhausted and sweaty, and counting every tiny calorie when sometimes I just wanted beer, pizza & a cupcake… was it just too much for me to be a normal weight again? I was so afraid that the doctor was going to take x-rays or do an MRI and find my knees a complete mess, and forbid me from the treadmill for months on end.
My alarm goes off yesterday morning and I decide to just be relieved to know what’s going on in my knees. It’s not like I can’t walk and am confined to a wheelchair or hobbling on crutches. Which might be the outcome if I don’t go to the doctor.
They were pretty awesome all around at the office. I did notice that I was almost the youngest person there by an average of 30 years. One very young boy about 4 or 5 had a cast on, so I didn’t feel too bad. Finally I see the doctor, they have me change into these awesome grey unisex shorts. By awesome, I mean fugly, but at least I had just shaved and properly lotioned my legs that morning. Doc comes in, shakes my hand (I dig being an adult) and asks me what happened. Poking at all my tendons commences, nothing hurts when poked, and this is a good sign. He wants x-rays to look at my bones and cartilage, but thinks I just need some exercises to build up my knee strength.
I go off down the hall in said awesome grey shorts, pose for the technician, and then flee back to my exam room. I get to put my own clothes back on & the Doc reappears not looking particularly concerned. I have to assume this is a good sign too.
My cartilage rocks, so he says, but my patellas are not really where they’re supposed to be. They’re off-center towards my outer knee, which “happens with women”. Something about puberty and hips widening and muscle strength being biased towards the outer thigh. He gave me some exercises to strengthen my inner thigh and groin. Then he gave me the low down on what I can do at the gym. “I want you to keep doing your lifting 3 times a week…” deep breath in (don’t say stop running, don’t say stop running) “and I want you to up your cardio to 5 days a week.” Exhale. “And I’m prescribing you an anti-inflammatory, and I’ll see you in a month. How’s that sound?”
That sounds really freaking awesome!
Took the medicine last night and I can feel the difference already. I’m really stoked to go to the gym tonight and run, though. And lift. And get really gross and sweaty, and then come home exhausted.

I’m such a geek (or “Hello Summer”)

Shamelessly self-promoting my wedding and my overall awesome-ness (awesome-ality?), I’ve been tweeting and now emailing with the face of TheKnot.com to see about becoming a featured bride. I’ve also been working hard on our wedding website so that friends and family have a go-to place for anything about our wedding.
And on top of all of that I tried on my wedding dress over the weekend, and it’s actually starting to fit! I have some amazing before/after pictures that I won’t be posting on the internet (for obvious reasons). Two months have flown by!
I have to say, though, I’m a little creeped out by how blank my calandar looks for the next several weeks. One super awesome exception being another sushi date with Tiff & Christie, but summer is usually SO busy with home improvements, yard work, autocrosses and vacations! I know it’s only April, plus Brandon just sold his race car, but still! I need a roooooaaaaad trip! (Roughly penciled in for “June” trip to NY to see Jessie!) Is that it? Running on the treadmill & baseball hotdogs? And more wedding details to plan? I don’t know how people have short engagements, I’m ready for a vacation!